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Cal Mccormack

Agony to Ecstasy

Doc. expérimental | mp4 | couleur et n&b | 12:50 | Royaume-Uni | 2020

‘Agony to Ecstasy’ looks at the scope of the socio-addictive condition within Scottish people. It focuses on the relationship between pain and pleasure, between stress and relief and between entrapment and escape. The film in many ways, is a dissection of two spaces – euphoric clubbing and silent Scottish nature, offering a perspective on our need for salvation within both. Neurologically, there is very little difference between the brain addicted to something, as to when falling in love. As a result, the film fluctuates between these neurological and personal perspectives on addiction and connection – where their conflating and often paradoxical relationship are juxtaposed. The film is made with reflection as its key focus. Made during the middle of the first lockdown, it uses the collective state of withdrawal and loneliness to observe realities within clubs. A slow-motion strobe follows the film throughout, as a visual deconstruction of the joy, yet ghostly inhibition of the people in the shots. Vulnerability was key in Dej’s recollections – his words occupy the emotional worlds of mental health, stigma and the ecstasy of clubbing, without having a particular stance or opinion. Ultimately 'Agony to Ecstasy' looks beyond fixed stereotypes of addicts, and into the dependencies, shame and love between Scottish people.

Cal Mac is a visual artist working and living in Glasgow. Working between sculpture print and video, he explores themes of belonging and addiction through sociological, scientific and visual dialogues. His work often looks at clubbing and natural environments, to unravel truths about our current condition and need for connection. His work has been screened at Atlas Arts (skye), The Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh), Limerick Institute of Technology, and online for Lift off Festival, and Film and Video Umbrella. Following his first commission from Film and Video Umbrella in 2020, Mac has done residencies at Cove Park and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. In 2021 Mac was shortlisted for the Royal Scottish Academy Morton Award.